From Gloria Sykes April 3, 2012
I noted an article on the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, the non-profit where my mother sought further protection and met with volunteer attorney Mr. Lippman. Attorney Lippman read the 2005 Trust and advised mother that it was a ‘void’ trust: that Carolyn Toerpe was not only the trustee but the sole beneficiary and with no supervision. Mother was outraged. I know because after about 45 minutes of Mr. Lippman meeting with my mother alone, he asked me to participate: it was my mother’s wishes and she waived her attorney client privilidge. When I entered th conference room, mother had already directed Mr. Lippman on what her wishes, desires, intents, et al were for a new Trust/will and she was going to cut Carolyn Toerpe out 100%. Of course, I encouraged mother not to do that. Silly me. And so, Mother had the will/trust rewritten and all was 50/50. My property, she wrote, as she did in a previous will, made it clear with instructions that her only interest in my property was should she outlive me: she made it clear she had no ownership rights nor did she want to own the property. I subpoenaed Mr. Lippman to testify what he could — and in fact, JoAnne Denison spoke with him directly. What is interesting is that a non-profit legal service that has and is receiving large amounts of money in order to help seniors (free services), would appear before Judge Connors and have the subpoena quashed! Yep, and to make this even more interesting, one week after Connor’s quashed the subpoena so Mr. Lippmann could not testify that he found mother not only highly competent, but also that she indeed came to CLVS in order to and had vacated the 2005 trust, and that a new will/trust had been prepared according to her wishes, instructions, intents, et al, but that even though CLVS notified mother to come in and sign the new will/trust, Mother never showed up as she was in the custody and care of Carolyn Toerpe. That said, one week later, Judge M. Connors was hosted and celebrated by CLVS for helping them get the grant money set aside especially to help seniors. Ya gotta wonder how it is that a Judge denies a volunteer attorney from a non profit where Judge Connors helped raise money so seniors can get free services to protect themselves from vultures like Carolyn Toerpe, would deny Mr. Lippman the right to testify on behalf of mother! Here’s the press release that went out
CVLS Honors Judge Maureen Connors and Sidley Austin LLP
CVLS gave Judge Maureen Connors its Court of Honor award for her support of pro bono guardians ad litem, her sensitivity to the needs of low-income clients and for treating pro bono attorneys with courtesy and respect. Sidley & Austin was honored for providing long-term, high quality, free legal services to the residents of Uptown.
The quashing of the subpoena was about one week before Connors was Honored. Here’s the article when she was appointed to the Appellate court. Please note that Conors was in the Domestic Violence Court for one year and Toerpes friend, Judge Gloria Coco was the supervising judge….. and other than mother, she helped other elders and disabled with the appointment of pro bono attorneys to give free legal services in Guardianship proceedings. See in red.
Circuit Judge Maureen Connors appointed to Appellate Court
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today the assignment of Cook County Circuit Court Judge Maureen E. Connors to the Illinois Appellate Court.
Judge Connors, who has been a judge in Cook County for 22 years, will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Appellate Justice Mary Jane Theis to the Illinois Supreme Court. Justice Theis will be replacing Chief Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald, who announced his retirement, effective October 25.
The assignment of Judge Connors will become effective October 26 and expire December 3, 2012.
Judge Connors was an associate Judge in Cook County from 1988 to 1994, when she was elected Circuit Court Judge. When she won retention as a Circuit Court judge in 2006, reviewing bar groups and associations all gave her favorable ratings.
As an associate judge, she has served in Traffic Court (1988-89); the Domestic Violence Court (1989-90); and the Fifth Municipal District in Bridgeview (1990-1994).
She has served in the Probate Division since her election as a Circuit Court judge in 1994, and was instrumental in organizing a roster of pro bono attorneys who volunteer free legal services in guardianship proceedings
Judge Connors is a member of the Committee on Discovery of the Illinois Judicial Conference and has participated in the training of new judges in Cook County. She has been a lecturer or panelist for the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys, and the National Guardianship Association.
She has been honored with the Domestic Violence Service Award by the Constance Morris House, a shelter for battered women; and has served on a task force studying the Illinois Domestic Violence Act.
She has served as a tutor at the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls and has served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago.
Judge Connors received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University and her juris doctor degree from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1979.
Before being elected an associate judge, she worked as an associate at Klafter & Burke and its predecessor Nathan & Klafter; and as assistant general attorney at the Chicago Park District.
Judge Connors will occupy the current rotation position of Justice Theis in the Second Division of the Appellate Court, First District; and will be assigned Justice Theis’ cases.
While serving on the Appellate Court, Judge Connors is relieved of all her regular duties in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Gloria Jean Sykes
Bon Ami Productions, Inc.
773.631-9262 (fax and office line)